CHINA TRIP REPORT

Part Two~ The Personal Journey

We toured for one day to the Po Lin monastery, fishing village, private temples, the giant Tian Ten Buddha (112’ tall, or the height of the Statue of Liberty, gulp), and took a cable car back, which took our breaths away. Not just from the panoramic beauty from up high in the dangling little car, but the adrenaline rush! Three days in Hong Kong was not enough. I hope to be going back again to indulge in its multiplicity of places to see, things to do and fascinating people to meet.

Local fishing village

Local fishing village

97 HK tour dried shark

Dried shark anyone?

101 HK tour temple inside

Reverence in a tiny temple

Across generations

Across generations

111 HK tour giant buddha3

Tian Ten Buddha statue

115 HK tour temple monastery2

Temple monastery

116 HK tour temple inside

Temple altar gods

118 HK tour temple inside2

Temple god(dess)

122 HK tour cable car

Traveling in thin air!

Hangzhou

Once back to work, we were bused, flown and driven to our 3rd destination: Hangzhou; this city is a modern wonder: Green with technology and urban flair, with a memorable lake set from the images of an ancient Chinese painting, modern buildings, fast paced urban buzz and lots of shopping. We attended a tour of brand new industrial parks and were graced with a “longevity celebration” and banquet honoring our leader, Dr. Ted McIlvenna, for his 81st year.

47 conf banquet dr TED

Dr. Ted McIlvenna, founder of IASHS

Each meal in China was more delicious, creatively prepared and delectable than the one before. I could eat this food for a lifetime! Bring it on.

144 Shanghai fish

The BEST fish dish ever!

 

Shanghai’ed

We decided to take a side trip the day before our final one, and spent one of the most exciting days of my life in Shanghai; taking the bullet train the 300 miles took less than an hour (do the math) and once there, it catapulted us into a state of shock and awe to see the labyrinth of sub-cultures, neighborhood riches, and local landmarks. A day I will never forget. This is the largest city proper by population in the world, at 23 million plus, yet feels mellow, orderly, upscale and welcoming.

135 Shanghai street

Shanghai streets

139 Shanghai street4

Shopping lane

149 Shanghai Bund1

Waterfront view “The Bund”

153 Shanghai street

Street charm

156 Shanghai street3

Shanghai flair

157 Shanghai street4

Ancient styles

161 Shanghai shop fans

Fans!

164 Shanghai shopping

Marketplace

166 Shanghai pond

Shanghai pond

170 Shanghai dress shop

Dress shop

177 Shanghai scene

Shop window

181 Shanghai cafes

Cafe life

185 Shanghai cafe with us1

Dr. P with Dr. Robert and Shanghai Sex Coach Maria

Our trip home was thankfully unmemorable despite being a 24-hour trip by bus, plane, and another plane. The jetlag is a killer but all of it is worth a lifetime of great memories. All of us (30+ sexologists from the USA and other countries as part of our IASHS delegation of visiting sexology scholars) left China with the afterglow and knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of billions of Chinese women, helping them to find their way toward sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. It was worth every minute and penny we all invested in this life-changing trip.

 

Observations~What I learned from China

Sexological and socially relevant themes:

*The Chinese 1 child policy is easing up; so may be the one housing unit per family rule; despite the cultural norm to desire a male-born child, we were told that the “killing of girl babies” was a myth; there are housing areas set aside for DINKs (double income no kids couples); there is a heritage of homes passed down to boys of farmers in the hillside areas of Hong Kong that are fascinating structures; sex remains a conservative issue; women have not been entitled to their own pleasure or orgasm; this is a revolution to bring forth the female-empowering messages and  type of access to sexual health and pleasure (orgasms, for example) as we did as a visiting delegation of sexologists

*Old mixes with the new in China; remnants of the past infuse a modern present

*Socialism is the new communism; free market capitalism is the new socialism; democracy may just be on the horizon, but it has far to go to escape a government-controlled state

*Women are second-class citizens in the bedroom

*Women now dominate as some of the richest most successful billionaires in the boardroom, especially in the hugely growth-driven realm of real estate business development

*China is the new future of the world–just look at their cities! However, as “60 Minutes” happened to air when we were in China, the overbuilding of housing in China, especially in Beijing, and even of entirely empty new cities spells potential disaster with an impending housing bubble that could burst, damaging astronomical economic growth patterns and even provoking civil protests against the government–one of central control that has encouraged rapid development to the point of ruination of natural resources, evacuation and displacement of life in the countryside at the expense of urban-ification, and a desolate picture of people and places in ghost conditions who have liquidated life savings and hopeful dreams for a prosperous future designed to compare with the good ol’ “American Dream”

*Chinese are acculturated to be polite, present and take their time, especially in honoring the elderly and those they respectfully love

*They cherish their land and take care to keep it clean, neat and tidy (no trash)

*Women’s toilets: “squatters” as we dubbed them are as wide spread as mushrooms; they have no seats, just you standing in a power squat, fully clothed, legs in the indentations by the side of the empty hole (hopefully), with toilet paper in all stalls in the city ladies’ rooms; these “squatters” are helping every woman to discover her inner ninja while strengthening her pelvic floor muscles, her legs and butt, and learning how to be strong where it counts. (PS. It makes your PCs strengthened, your gluts tighter, your quads stronger, and eases constipation while giving you a shot at better orgasms)

*Extreme growth and construction are signs of a strong economy and dedication to aggressive pursuit of world dominance; it also has propelled a push toward a baby boom fervor, and has reduced the age of consent to promote more births

*China is intriguing, exciting, a blend of country and city, old and young, rich and poor, West and East and enchants with its unique spell that it casts on visitors like us. Hooray for China’s sexual dreams!!!!

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